The BGIPU and the Secretariat will from time to time organise fundraising events for charities and projects visited in their work. On 12 September the team organised a “Pub Quiz” to raise funds for two childrens charities in Uganda.
The British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (BGIPU) hosted a parliamentary delegation from Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) from 26-29 June 2012. Overall, the key message of the delegation was that there was broad agreement among the various political groups in BiH, including across all ethnic constituencies, but that they must quickly and cooperatively address sensitive issues around identity and ethnic differences by pursuing effective constitutional reform.
Kosovo is a fascinating country. It feels both ancient and brand new. Its people are warm and friendly, and for the most part young and full of life. Enthusiasm and optimism for the future is the dominant characteristic of a people who, despite everything, believe that education, enterprise and hard work will deliver prosperity and success.
Twelve years after surviving one of the bloodiest conflicts in the Balkans, Kosovo is pushing slowly through the political and economic barriers to the independence it declared in February 2008. But in the battle for recognition it still confronts not only Serbia, its ancient rival, but five European Union countries.
The delegation’s visit to Kosovo was a very interesting one and allowed the UK Parliamentarians to visit several ministries and explore some of the issues pertinent to the country’s development since the Declaration of Independence in 2008. Independent Kosovo is recognised by 85 states but these do not include five members of the European Union or Serbia.
Overall a great deal has been achieved in a short period in Georgia. There are very grave difficulties, but these are being tackled by an able, innovative and optimistic people. Understandably the Russian presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia was the main theme on the minds of the parliamentarians whom the delegation met.
In a visit to Turkey from 17 to 22 October 2010, UK parliamnetarians had a series of deep discussions with senior Turkish MPs, representing the IPU, the Anglo-Turkish Friendship Group, and the leading political parties, as well as the Human Rights Commission, the EU Harmonisation Committee, and the Foreign Affairs Committee. Key issues discussed included Turkey’s aspirations for EU membership, UK-Turkey relations, political matters in the country and human rights issues, as well as regional developments.
Some 460 Members of Parliament (including 22 Speakers) from 118 countries participated in the 123rd IPU Assembly in genva from 4 to 6 October 2010. The UK delegation was led by Nigel Evans MP and comprised the rt Hon Ann Clwyd MP and The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein CMG CBE. The three-day Assembly adopted an emergency resolution entitled: Immediate action to support international relief efforts in response to natural disasters, in particular with regard to flood-stricken Pakistan.